Hikind at a cornerstone-laying in East Jerusalem on Wednesday.(NYTimes.com)

Curious about China’s stance on West Bank settlement expansion? Now you know: The Asian power is against it. Just days after President Obama visited China, that country’s foreign minister has criticized the planned construction of 900 new apartments in East Jerusalem, according to the Israeli paper Yediot Ahronot, a position in concert with the U.S. administration. Whether the move reflects a desire to stand united with Obama on freezing settlements or it reflects a desire to appease oil-exporting Middle Eastern countries is as yet unclear.

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, however, remains firmly supportive of settlement consturction. He told the New York Times this week that he wants to buy a new pad in East Jerusalem. On a visit to Israel with about 50 other Americans, Hikind said restricting where Jews can build homes “is segregation” and that Obama’s no-settlement-expansion position means Jews “cannot build a toilet” in the West Bank. There are many kinds of arguments a person could make against Hikind’s intended purchase, but given that Thanksgiving’s around corner (and that Hikind introduced the bathroom rhetoric in this case)—we’ll make a patriotic one: the American economy is still in the crapper, why not spend the dollars here?

China Criticizes New Israeli Move on Settlements [Ynet]
Real Estate Shopping Is Used as Political Theater on Jerusalem’s Contested Ground
Hikind Steps Into West Bank Settlement Row With Housing Plan [Jewish Week]